Offer Views/Previews of Documents in Group Docs folder
A suggestion from a member:
"One thing that I think would be nice is if in the Documents folder, it were possible to simply view documents rather than having to download them. A lot of these are things that people might want to read through once or refer to occasionally, without having them clutter up our own computer hard space -- and that way they'd be in a place I'd always know how to get to, rather than trying to do my own filing system."
My thought is that if we can find code that already does this and that can be easily integrated into the site, we can look into adding this functionality. But I don't see it as a huge priority given the other things we have on our plate. When you have a chance, Boone, can you explore the possibilities and let me know whether this would require significant development time?
Updated by Boone Gorges about 12 years ago
- Status changed from Assigned to Reporter Feedback
I did some searching and I couldn't find anything that does this - not for WordPress or for any other platform. The closest thing I know of is Google Docs's inline viewer for PDFs, but to my knowledge they haven't open-sourced it. Essentially, I think the way that those viewers work is by sending the entire file to the user and then displaying it in a gussied-up iframe. To develop such a thing would take me dozens, maybe many dozens, of hours.
The alternative is to have the documents actually live in the cloud, like Google Docs. But Google Docs already exists, so i would rather not rebuild it :-D There is a possibility that we might do some sort of integration between the Commons and Google Docs, but I don't think there's any way around the restriction that all users have to have a Google Account.
It's kind of a funny thing, the idea of not wanting to clutter up one's hard drive. The document has to be delivered to the user's computer no matter what, if the user wants to look at it. If it's done in an iframe, it's removed from the cache eventually, but that's the only difference. I'd suggest that the user set up his or her browser so that downloaded files are viewed directly in the browser and stored in a downloads folder can act like a black hole for unwanted docs. Then that folder can be cleared out whenever.
Updated by Matt Gold about 12 years ago
- Status changed from Reporter Feedback to Rejected
"It's kind of a funny thing, the idea of not wanting to clutter up one's hard drive."
Agreed. Since there is no easy or even moderately reasonable solution, I'm going to reject this idea as unfeasible. I will report back to the original submitter.